a. The reproductive structure of angiosperms, characteristically having either specialized male or female organs or both male and female organs, such as stamens and a pistil, enclosed in an outer envelope of petals and sepals.
b. Such a structure having showy or colorful parts; a blossom.
c. A flower head.
2. A plant that is cultivated or appreciated for its blossoms.
3. The condition or a time of having developed flowers: The azaleas were in full flower.
4. The period of highest development or greatest vigor. See Synonyms at bloom1.
5. The highest example or best representative: the flower of our generation.
6. A natural development or outgrowth: "His attitude was simply a flower of his general good nature" (Henry James).
7. flowers Chemistry A fine powder produced by condensation or sublimation of a compound.
v. flow·ered, flow·er·ing, flow·ers
1. To produce a flower or flowers; blossom.
2. To develop naturally or fully; mature: His artistic talents flowered early.
To decorate with flowers or with a floral pattern.
[Middle English flour, from Old French flor, from Latin flōs, flōr-; see bhel-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)flower
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.